Report: Kyrie Irving has ‘deep desire’ to play for Team USA at Paris Olympics

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving reportedly has a “deep desire” to play for the United States at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

The one-time NBA champion and former Olympic gold medalist was one of 41 players named to the 2024 men’s national team player pool back in January. The U.S. Olympic team will be made up of 12 players.

That means there will be a very stiff competition for roster spots, and Irving is making a strong case with his play for the Dallas Mavericks. The 31-year-old is averaging 25.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game this season, his 13th in the NBA.

Insider Shams Charania pointed out that Irving has strong ties with two veteran leaders likely to make the Olympic team. He won an NBA championship with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers and played with Kevin Durant in a mostly failed experiment with the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving also has a strong international history, having won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics and being named MVP when it won the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Despite that and his strong name recognition, it might not be enough to get him on the squad this time around. Charania has reported that James, Durant, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker are expected to form the core of the team that will compete in Paris. In addition, younger stars Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton are under strong consideration.

That would fill nine of the 12 available spots, with big men Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo candidates to back up Embiid.

Irving would then be competing for one of the final spots against the likes of Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, De’Aaron Fox, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul and Trae Young, who are all among the player pool.

“We’ll see where Kyrie Irving could figure on that team if he is able to get an invitation,” Charania said. “It’s looking like the Avengers being formed right now for Team USA.”

A former No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft who is an eight-time All-Star, Irving certainly has the pedigree to warrant strong consideration for the U.S. Olympic team. Now, it’s just a matter of the decision-makers determining if he fits on the roster as they eventually see it.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.